Ranking | From worst to best in the ‘PANIC’ franchise

Maybe many don’t know it, but CinePOP was born out of a love for horror films, especially in connection with one of the best slashers ever produced, Pânico (Scream) – responsible for revitalizing terror at adolescents, adding many elements that we see reproduced until today. It is precisely for this reason that the announcement of a fifth episode of the franchise, with production elements starting to take shape, has thrown our newsroom into a frenzy. Even though director Wes Craven (who directed the other four films) is irreplaceable, we’re more than excited for the turns of Neve Campbell (Sidney), Courteney Cox (Gale) and David Arquette (Dewey) in Panic 5.

From a new home, now published by Paramount, with new directors (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyller Gillett, duo from the recent Bloody Wedding) and new writers (Guy Busick, from the Castle Rock series, and James Vanderbilt, from Zodiac ), little remains to be known about the plot of the new Panic – which promises to bring new scares, metalanguage and fun -, the premiere of which is promised for January 13, 2022.

While the new Panic doesn’t arrive, CinePOP has decided to revisit the franchise, to put all the movies in our order of preference. Come meet up and don’t forget to comment below, making your list as well.


Enjoy watching:

Panic 3

We want to make it clear that we love all of the movies in the franchise, and we’re real experts at those movies. As ardent fans, it’s safe to include ourselves with the majority in thinking that the third chapter is, for example, the least popular of the franchise. Of course, Pânico 3 has a lot of attractions, including the way it plays behind the scenes of a Hollywood production and its world of actors, directors and studio executives. In fact, the grace of this third episode is precisely that it behaves more like a parody than a teenage terror per se – a term this third example leaves out. There’s even some acidic complaint between the lines about toxic work environments and sexual abuse within these movie companies. It’s sad to note, however, that this is a production of Miramax, a company founded by the Weinstein brothers, and to know that everything that happens on screen, in fact, has happened. in real life.

Panic 3, however, found itself full of obstacles that made it last in popular taste. The first and most obvious was the delay in releasing the newspaper, considering that the previous two had been launched in 1996 and 1997, and the third should have taken advantage of its popularity to fit into a loophole towards 1998. However, the film would not be released until 2000, and without the involvement of one of the creators, screenwriter Kevin Williamson, as Panic’s “father” as Wes Craven. So the film suffered from inadequacies in a somewhat lame storyline, which left holes for a second killer, and the franchise’s most outrageous twist – in addition to the less striking characters as well. It is precisely for this reason that it would take no less than 11 years for a new copy to hit theaters.

Of the first three films, Panic 3 was the most expensive to produce (with a budget of $ 40 million) and the least profitable (with a nonetheless impressive worldwide yield of $ 161 million). As said, it’s also the least popular movie among fans and the general public. With reviews, the concept of the film isn’t much different, being defined with just 39% acceptance, Panic 3 is the only one in the franchise to receive a Rotten Tomato on Rotten Tomatoes.

Panic 4

This can be considered the franchise’s first son, until the present moment. The hype was apparently long gone, and the world was a different place for terror, especially for slashers. Still, Panic 4 is taking advantage of a new trend emerging in Hollywood, the latest footage from beloved productions. It was the wave of awakenings. The classics of the 80s and 90s in particular, dear to an entire generation, gained new outfits in the late 2000s and early 2010. So Panic also returned. Not only that, but it was a complete reunion of the original “group”, with Craven in the direction, Williamson in the screenplay, and Campbell, Arquette and Cox leading the cast. It couldn’t get better!

It’s safe to say that Panic 4 is an underrated movie, less appreciated than it really should be. Williamson was tuned in to the new times, playing with the new reality, already pinning social media, blogging and the Youtube generation preview, with lives and all kinds of live broadcasts. In fact, the motto of the bad guys here was to become “instant celebrities” – the so-called Internet sub-celebrities. And that was at a time before the Instagram explosion. Unlike the previous film, Pânico 4 returned to its origins, adding new charismatic young people to the plot – and favoring the meeting of the older generation (in their forties), with the new generation – who reflected the original characters inserted in a modern reality.

Apart from that, Williamson and Craven once again presented themselves as a harmonious pair, playing and filling the feature film with references – one of the best was about the flood of horror remakes that had already flooded Hollywood by this time. The opening scene is pure gold, with a hilarious loop, making it a true creation of the movie in the movie in the movie. Oh yeah, we can’t forget the name casting beyond the famous / promising names that helped elevate the status of the fourth film. However, with a budget equal to that of the previous film ($ 40 million), Pânico 4 saw a return of “only” $ 97 million worldwide – thus securing the position of less profitable (which leaves some fear for the fifth). With the general public, however, it is left in hand with the second, and in the opinion of critics, guaranteed the fresh tomato with 60% approval over Rotten Tomatoes.

Panic 2

Panic (1996) was a big hit, but it wasn’t a movie that necessarily needed a sequel. In fact, there was nothing in his plot to indicate this, quite the contrary. But has she stopped coming? Of course not, because where there is a smell of money, there will be continuation. This is how Hollywood works. In 1997, the sequel to Pânico 2 hit theaters exactly one year later. We Brazilians had to fight, because of the change of distributor here (from Playarte to Paris Filmes), Pânico 2 suffered an embargo of almost two years, for its debut only in 1999 in our Brazilian lands. Let there be a heart. All the more so if we consider that at the beginning of the Internet, there was not even a taste of the famous downloads.

The cinema is a magical place, where creativity must prevail. Many times sequels deemed unnecessary for blockbuster movies have turned out so good that they even surpassed their originals. And for most fans, that’s precisely where this Panic 2 fits – which elevated the concept in a number of ways. Again, Craven and Williamson were backstage, while the quartet of lead actors, yes at the time, was a quartet with the inclusion of Jamie Kennedy as terrorist expert Randy, leading the show in front of the cameras. The directors have already revealed that they regret eliminating the mentioned character in the franchise – even with their participation in the third film.

It’s here that Panic went from a blockbuster and lauded horror flick to a real pop culture fever – and the Ghostface killer mask has become a true icon of not just the genre, but the cinema. That way, yes, sequels can expand their worlds in unprecedented ways, further increasing a movie’s popularity. With ten million dollars more than the first film, Panic 2 made $ 172 million, coming very close to the box office of the original. The real surprise lies in the rating of critics, who see him as the best example of the franchise, owning an astonishing 82%, ensuring a more than fresh tomato on Rotten Tomatoes.


While Panic 2 is highly regarded, it’s hard to beat the original. Everything was born here. We agree and we also love these beautiful productions of pre-established successful brands from other media. But the good thing about cinema is really creating real legends out of thin air. It is this unknown question of whether a particular work will fall into the mouths of people and collective taste, or be forgotten the following week. There are no rules, it’s an unpredictable game. And for this reason very tasty. This is exactly what happened with Panic. It was a movie out of nowhere to get the crowds going. It emerged with Kevin Williamson’s idea of ​​playing and paying homage to the classic 1970s and 1980s slasher, and ended up revitalizing the subgenre and showing a huge influence that resonates today.

He also started a millionaire franchise and became one of the greatest icons of terror. All this for a small and fun $ 14 million production, with actors from TV series, whose biggest name in the cast was a few minutes participation at the start of Drew Barrymore’s film. It is to score a great goal. Apart from that, the film was rediscovered by a massive whole new audience – even here in Brazil – thanks to the video libraries. Whoever speaks to you walked into the movie by accident and left the cinema in awe. Panic has grossed $ 173 million worldwide, and in the opinion of the general public, of course, it’s the favorite movie in the franchise. For reviewers, the Fresh Tomato is guaranteed with 79% approval on Rotten Tomatoes.

Bonus: Panic – The TV Series

If the Friday the 13th and The Nightmare on Earth franchises had their TV series, why not panic? So, four years after the result of, say, sadly lukewarm Panic 4, MTV in partnership with Dimension Television and Netflix launched the first derivative of this universe for the small screen. Using the same structure as the “thriller,” and even having a face known as the initial victim, Panic – The Series introduced a new line of high school characters facing a masked serial killer, who took them down one by one. The references were there, as was the smart weather. However, the program worked more like a reboot, without any connection or knowledge of the original franchise. The killer’s mask also received a makeover. Despite the differences, one original name was still there: Cult Wes Wesven, who served as the show’s executive producer.

With 10 episodes in its first season, the series was successful enough to continue the following year. Whether it was because of plot exhaustion, or because of the low audience, in 2016, Panic presented his second and final season. However, a makeover was featured, with a new cast, an identical mask to the films, and a reduced number of just six episodes – so it aired three years later, in 2019, the third and final season of Panic. . One of the attractions here was the presence of Mary J. Blidge, Keke Palmer (showing more racial diversity in the cast) and Paris Jackson, daughter of Michael Jackson. However, due to the end of the agreement between MTV and Netflix, the third season of the program is not available on the platform. It is to hope that one day we can watch here in Brazil.

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